Is love strong enough to overcome hatred? Is it strong enough to overcome even the worst hatred of all, of self?
They first meet as small children in a supermarket, then again years later, in high school in the small fictional town of Sommerville, CA.
Born to a single mother, Tammy is a handsome, athletic senior who has a gift for writing, his loneliness masked by his popularity and charisma.
Jamie is an undersized, extremely shy, soft-spoken freshman, a stranger in town, recently adopted after the deaths of his parents.
Something about Jamie's eyes, and the way he chews nervously on red licorice is naggingly familiar to Tammy, and when Jamie grabs Tammy's hand during a prayer in church one Sunday, a lifelong bond forms between them.
The attraction between Tammy and Jamie is undeniable, but they are both plagued by the fear of ridicule and hostility from friends in school and church. When the boys spend Tammy's graduation night getting to know each other, they only fall deeper.
They become separated for sixteen years when Tammy leaves for college, leaving the brokenhearted Jamie behind in Sommerville.
When Tammy's mother is suddenly injured, he returns home, and is reunited with Jamie once again. Finally acknowledging fully who he is, Tammy is the one who has to break the ice this time around.
Their love affair proves to be an unprecedented challenge to both of them, as they find themselves having to navigate through emotional trauma they have each suffered.
Tammy and Jamie spend several difficult yet happy days together, and are on the verge of coming out to their family, when a vicious high school nemesis suddenly unearths Jamie's horrible secret. The love between Tammy and Jamie will be put through that they believe is the ultimate test, and a brutal hate-crime will ignite a bitter, heartrending battle within their small community, pitting love and acceptance against hatred and bigotry.
"...a fantastic read. The characters have so much spirit and presence that it feels like you know them...I felt a connection to each of the characters as they try to survive their personal hell...I couldn’t imagine not finishing the book..." Leslie Purkey, First Advance Review
"...vastly emotional...the deceptively simple premise conceals an astonishingly complex and intricate odyssey through the heartbreak of child abuse, the loss of identity, the miracle of love, and the recovery of self...the characters are alive and beautiful..." Rebecca Margo Baron, The Boise Bookiee
"Well written...Dialogue and character development were strong, and I could feel the emotional energy instilled in this work..." Sean Jones, Inkwater Press, Portland, Oregon
"...not escapist reading by any stretch of the imagination...devastatingly confronting, hard to take at times...and yet, filled with hope as much with despair, uplifting in a bizarre way, written in the simple, no-frills voices of two lonely, searching souls..." Joel and Patsy Moran, SF, CA
"Harrowing, thought-provoking...funny, sad, and shocking all at the same time..." Tracy Hibbert, Beaten Track Publishing, Lancashire England
"Tragic, beautiful and compelling...wonderfully written..." Debbie McGowan, author of No Dice and Champagne
"Moving...very bold...beautifully done..." Leigh Jarrett, author of The Stars On My Arm and The Circle Trilogy
"A modern masterpiece....bold, stunning, hard-hitting, yet delicate and tender..." Andrea Harding, Amazon.com
"An exceptionally well-crafted work of fiction...challenging, difficult...highly recommended..." Nigel Paice, Goodreads.com
"Painfully honest...deeply disturbing...wrenchingly hopeful...a love story I won't soon forget..." Heidi Rose, Lulu.com